Monday, February 20, 2017

A Letter to My Body

To my precious body,

Oh my dear one—we have been on a journey together, haven’t we?  Together every day, every step of the way.  Truly, of everyone in this world—of all of my kindreds, my friends and family whom I’ve tried to describe my struggles and my battles to—no one really understands.  No one has felt it all and experienced it all with me.  No one but you.

You have suffered with me, borne my griefs for me, willingly, when I couldn’t.  When my heart was breaking as I watched my mother disappear, you let me try to disappear too—and you let me pound you into the gravel of the running path each morning and you let me try to starve the ache away.  Even when I wasn’t caring for you, you were caring for me—sustaining me, keeping me on my feet, keeping my heart beating.

I wish that I had cared for you too.  But the pain was so deep, so biting, that I didn’t even know I was carrying it.  After years of loss and grief from the time I was a little girl, it’s like I didn’t know how to care for you.  And I didn’t even notice that you were caring for me.

I pressed on in my habits of too much and too little.  I stuffed you, I punished you, I even blamed you.  It’s not my fault—I didn’t know how to cope with my grief any differently—but all the while, you were my ever-patient friend, adjusting for the fluctuations, keeping me going, staying with me, doing your best to not run out of energy—believing in me and that I would eventually come to a place where I was ready to listen.  Knowing that day would come.

My dear body, you’ve been so faithful.  And I know you’re tired.  It’s becoming evident from the ways you’re acting lately.  But I’m not angry.  You’ve done such a good job of taking care of me these past 15 years.  You’ve been there for me through some of the hardest times of my life, and I am so grateful.  Thank you.  Thank you for being the other half of my soul.  Now it’s my turn to take care of you.  I think I’m finally ready.

I love you.  And I want to do so much better at listening.  It’s going to take time for me to learn how, to get to know you again—but it’s what I want.  It’s what I promise.

You can trust me now.  I am here.  I am listening.

Let’s take care of each other.